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anything new in Chico? taco truck rec's?

Going to visit family again (why do we always go in summer?!)and are looking for any chowish places--anything new that's not a chain. May be with non-chowish senior relatives who like a good value. (not necessarily cheap)

Last year we had a disastrous Mexican meal near Safeway on Nord Ave., but later had a decent lunch across town next to Great Harvest bread store. Visited the Coop and got some of that wonderful Sierra Nevada cream cheese. Going again to see what else they have. Also going to hit the creamery now that I know where it is! (and visit cute Little Red Hen, but that's another topic!)

Have seen lots of taco trucks, don't know which to try. Any favorites? How is Tres Hombres for food these days?

Any chowish attractions you might rec? Fruit stands, nut growers etc.

Any help greatly appreciated.

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  1. This will be a quick post...I'll try to think of more ideas(makes me sad I don't have a bunch off the top of my head).

    Chowish attractions...Farmer's market Sat 7:30 to 1 on Wall Street between 2nd & 3rd. Also we have one Thurs night downtown, I think it starts at 6. There is a map of agricultural attractions but I'm drawing a blank...the Sierra _____ Trail - has a peach orchard, olive oil producers etc.

    I can't think of any new places worth visiting that opened w/i the year. I've heard one good report about Jedidiah's which I believe is across from the Natural Foods store. I haven't been there yet.

    What creamery? I would love to check that out.

    I'm not a huge fan of Tres Hombres and I'm not up on the taco truck scene. I hope someone chimes in on that. I like Tacos de Acapulco on Forest Ave. for something in that vein. I usually get a carnitas taco. Greasy but good.

    I'll try to think of more and post again.

    1. Raw Bar downtown is pretty good for sushi, gets crowded. Celestino's Pizza is excellent NY style (zero atmosphere, mostly take out). Depending on where you're coming from, Granzella's just off I-5 in Williams is a great stop for sandwiches and olives.

      1. Shubert's--you told me about it last year. Looks like it'll be ice cream weather for sure. We always seem to time our visits with a heat spell :) or is it :(

        Going to try the taco truck south of town and the one out on north esplanade--giant ear of corn painted on the side--hoping for elotes!

        1 Reply
        1. re: toodie jane

          Yes, its definitely ice cream weather...if you can eat it before it melts.:) Went to Shubert's recently and had a chocolate malt. Yum!

        2. avoid tres hombres if at all possible, I ate there when passing through last summer. it used to be a favorite for cheap margs and quesadillas. but it has only gotten more expensive as the quality has declined.

          I also ate at the brewery last time through, can't beat fresh Sierra on tap, and I had a tri-tip, blue cheese sandwich that was quite good.

          6 Replies
          1. re: withalonge

            cousins love TH for drinks & snacks. been quite a few years since we've eaten there. But we'll probably go out with some friends and MIL Dear so looking for someplace not too loud--the brewery sure sounds good from all recs but MIL might be uncomfortable with the noise level. There's a dinner place on the Esplanade that looked good as we went by--busy during the dinner hour. Fairly close to downtown--we might go there.

            I've heard there is a good bakery in town--do they do cakes? Looking for one for DH. Thanks to you hounds, I know where to get the ice cream!

            1. re: toodie jane

              Dinner place on the Esplanade...are you thinking of Nash's? I've only been there once, probably 3 or so years ago, it was OK - I'd probably head to the brewery first. I don't think it will be too loud if you go on the early side. OR maybe you are thinking of the Red Tavern. I haven't been there but it is supposed to be really good. I hope you'll report back if you go. I imagine in terms of a quiet atmosphere that would fit the bill.

              Bakeries...I can think of 2 good ones. Mim's Bakery on Humboldt. I've had a cake w/white chocolate & rasberry. Really good. Downtown is Upper Crust. Rich chocolate cake, a yummy white/grand marnier cake - I've tried and enjoyed these but of course they have others. I also like Upper Crust for lunches.

              Can't wait to hear your report! I'll be down in your neck of the woods at the end of the month to try some of your recs.:)

              1. re: Bean Counter

                We recently gave Red Tavern a try for the first time...excellent! I had a goat cheese turnover as a starter, which was an exciting combination of rich and sparkling flavors. Hubby had the sirloin of lamb and it was exquisite, and the most luscious oysters on the half shell ever...rich and creamy with nary a hint of fishiness. Whatever I selected paled in comparison to his choices, but the entire meal was fabulous, well appointed and attentive.

                1. re: NoCAFoodie

                  Thanks for the report. I've been wanting to try this place for ages. I recently read they have bocce on the patio which sounds like a hoot.

                2. re: Bean Counter

                  Mims is excellent for cakes. Order ahead.

                3. re: toodie jane

                  I thinkt the noise level would be worse at TH thank the brewery.. the brewery has grown to be quite large, and has a nice patio for seating... complete with heat lamps an misters in the summer.

                  a quieter option for dinner, might be the Kramore Inn (on park). (its pronounced like "cram more"... seriously). they have dinner crepes.. the food is pretty tasty and a good MIL type of place. it is smaller and much more quiet. and dear lord if they have the fresh peach dessert crepe you MUST order it.. and then commence with the swooning).

              2. hey, thanks, guys! you're swell!

                The Kram-more (!) sounds like it would be a hit w/ MIL and her beaux, and the brewery for us "young-uns" (hah!) DH loves his brews. (I was hoping to score some peaches, if they haven't ALL been torn out!)

                and thanks so much for the bakery tips--knew there had to be a good one. they sound pretty decadent!

                Here's hoping for some reasonable weather, I just absolutetly wilt up there when it's above 100. I live at the coast and its hard to make the transition >whimper< I may have to make a run to RiteAid for a kiddie pool!

                1. as MIL Dear was ill, we didn't go out to eat except for lunch at Jeremiah's with some friends. Food was good, service very accomadating when one of our party was late. I had the tri tip sando w/o the bun, the others had the TBAS (turkey bacon avo &?) The homemade buns were so toasted they broke into shards, and were hard to eat, but the fillngs were pronounced tasty. Hubby's tri tip burrito was just OK. Each of our choices came with two sides, slaw, fries, salad or baked beans. We all had the salad which was fresh baby greens, and the slaw and fries were good, but not special. Each choice came to around $8-9 which is above average for Chico, I was told later. I didn't think Jeremiah's was particularly noteworthy or a good value, but it is said to have a very loyal following. Will try another place next time. Noticed some places on W 5th; is Frankie's good? and how about the Tamale place nearby? "It's what's for dinner!" Pineapple tamales!

                  Did have a couple of mixed grocery shopping expeditions to bolster MILD's fridge. (She's been eating out a lot lately so not much fresh food in the pantry)

                  Pleasantly surprised by WinCo on Forest Ave (never been in one before)Got ww pastry flour, cornmeal, baking powder, Splenda packets all in the big bulk barrels. Phew! what a selection--though an awful lot of sweets, too.

                  Got some whole chix there to make soup but was dissapointed to see all the pork and other chicken products were up to 15% brine added. Don't want to pay for water and salt, and there was no other choice in all the pork. Good prices and selection on conventional produce.

                  Chico Natural foods Coop downtown had the supplements and teas we were looking for as well as some decent veggies and dairy. Was sad to see they'd stopped carrying Sierra Nevada (from Colusa) cheeses that we'd gotten at Thanksgiving. We talked to the young man now in charge and he said he'd look into it. A fellow customer suggested trying S&S for them.

                  Saw the new Trader Joe's but not in our neighborhood, so didn't shop there. Maybe next visit I will be able to introduce MILD to TJ's. She's a Safeway/WinCo shopper.

                  Am itching to try the crepes (love 'em) at Kramore, and to take hubby to the brewery. Taco truck experiences still elusive, but have been impressed with how clean and shiny they are. The ones on the Esplanade look good, and are busy at all times of day.

                  Till September, then!

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: toodie jane

                    Win-Co's best claim to honest fame is their bulk barrels; everything else bears close scrutiny...faux value. We prefer the Safeway on East Ave. to the other two. Have yet to try any of the taco trucks...and I always see one over on Whitman Ave. TJ's is still an infant store, but is also always busy...good sign. No full liquor license yet, but all the rest is there. I'm addicted and I have to drive 20 miles! Yes, Frankie's is good. They have a most outstanding Bloody Mary made with a splash of Guinness Stout. I don't know, but it's really good! Stick to their main fare though...some of their "specials" get kind of out there. Also in that neighborhood is 5th Street Steak House, which has a good reputation.

                    1. re: NoCAFoodie

                      thanks for the comments....that's MILD's Safeway, too. We were visiting my hubby's navy pal on 5th St., temporarily relocated there when he lost his commercial business to fire. Frankie's would have been very close. Other spots looked interesting near Ivy and 5th. I may have to make a solo sortie!

                      1. re: NoCAFoodie

                        5th Street Steakhouse is good if you live in Chico and want a steakhouse experience. The prime rib is good, the mashed potatoes decent, probably tried other stuff but apparently didn't make an impression. However if I was visiting Chico for something unique I wouldn't choose this. Also if I were Toodie who lives near the Hitching Post I would definitely skip it unless MIL had a hankering for a steak.:)

                      2. re: toodie jane

                        Sorry to hear about your MIL.

                        Thanks for the report on Jeremiah's...won't be rushing out there anytime soon. The prices don't seem that out of line to me...maybe I'm not eating in the right places. I like to get sandwiches from the BBQ at S&S once in a while and those run 5-6 for just the sandwich.

                        S&S does carry Sierra Nevada cheeses but they haven't had the cream cheese(in the tube) for a while which is really bumming me out. I was thinking about checking the natural foods store so you've saved me a trip.

                        The tamale place. This guy sells at the Saturday & Thursday Farmer's Markets. I have stopped at the store once and found that the ones at the Farmer's Markets are a lot better. I really didn't care for the pineapple. My son is a big fan of the chicken.

                        Frankie's is good(will have to check out that bloody mary). I'd go to the brewery or Kramore Inn first though.

                        Can't wait for the Sept report.

                        1. re: Bean Counter

                          Have you tried Kinders for BBQ? It's a little (almost literally) hole in the wall place over off 2nd...can't recall the cross street, but you get to it through a parking lot. They have a meat counter and BBQ...